Five Tips for Running the Detroit Marathon Weekend Races

medal shot

 

This past weekend marked the third time I’ve run a race during the Detroit Marathon weekend. My first race was the 5K back in 2012. Last year I upgraded to the Half Marathon where I went on to hurt myself and earn a ticket to the PT for the fall running season.

This year I was determined to have a different outcome. I was going to pace my wife for this race and since it had been a while (April of this year) since she ran a half we were going to take it easy and enjoy the race. I’m happy to say we accomplished that mission!

Finishers

Instead of doing a normal race report I thought I’d change it up a bit and tell you 5 things I learned from running this race.

 

  1. Arrive early and Park for Free- The race begins at 7AM and traffic is a bear. M-10 closes at I-75 and most of the city streets close the race route shut down before 5AM. We set our alarm for 4:00 and were out the door by 4:30. Instead of trying to park close the race course we parked on Washington Blvd close to Grand Circus Park. It’s probably ¾ of a mile to walk to the start line but since they don’t check meters on Sundays we were able to park on the street for free.

DSC02343

 

  1. Do not park inside of the race course – My first year I arrived early and thought I was being smart by parking close to the starting line. I was able to get a spot before the roads closed however, when I finished the race, I couldn’t leave until the roads reopened again.  If you look at a map of the race course, it loops around itself forming a circle. If you park inside of that circle you aren’t getting out for a while. I ended up walking around the after party and sitting in my car for a couple of hours after my first race had finished.

DSC02349

  1. Bring some warm yet disposable clothing- All three years that I have run this race have been really cold at the start. Yesterday’s starting line temp was 33 degrees and since we started downtown close to the river it felt even colder than that. Before the race started I had gone to the Salvation Army and purchased a sweatshirt from their dollar pile. As you can see from the picture below, it wasn’t pretty but it did the job. I also had the standard $1 running gloves that I tucked into my shorts pocket once I started to warm up. I didn’t throw them away because I had learned from last year that going through the tunnel is hot and stinky but once you exit you get hit with a cold blast of air. I was glad I had the gloves because my fingers were cold again by mile 9.

lets do this

  1. Be prepared for some hills – When most people think of a race course through the city of Detroit, they think it will be a flat and fast course. This course is actually a bit deceiving as it has quite a bit of elevation change (817 ft). The run over the Ambassador Bridge into Canada is beautiful, but it’s also challenging. The course leading up to the bridge has an incline to it with an uneven road surface. The entrance road is curved and has a pretty good bank to it making running uncomfortable to say the least. Add in the fact the you’re only at mile two, and probably still cold from the early morning fall start time, and your legs might be aching a bit. Once you get on the bridge, the road is narrow and the climb is much more challenging than you might think. It’s nothing to be scared of but don’t take it lightly either. Train for the elevation and you’ll be fine.

DSC02359

  1. Be prepared to see some amazing communities that you never knew existed – During this race you’ll get to see the Detroit River from the Canadian side and run along Riverside Drive. There is a great community here and the race support is awesome. The college students come out in force to cheer and other residents barrage you with greetings of “Welcome to Canada”. Once you come back into the city you get to run through a very nice part of Mexican village and smell the food being prepared for lunch at the local Mexican restaurants. This was one of two times during the race that my mouth was watering and I was ready to give up and go eat. The other was when we ran past American & Lafayette Coney Island Restaurants. One of the last Neighborhoods you get to see before the finish line is Cork town. I never realized how nice this area is with beautiful restored homes lining the streets. You can tell the locals really take pride in home ownership.

DSC02367

DSC02398

DSC02401

The Detroit International Half Marathon is one of my favorite races and hopefully, will be a staple of my running career for a long time to come. The course is challenging but wonderful and takes you through places you might never visit any other time. The medal is one of the best you can get, and running through two countries, and the world’s only underwater mile, make this a race to put on your calendar for sure!

 

Have you ever run this race and if so what did you think?

Would you recommend it to others?

 

Let me know in the comment section below.

2014 United States Air Force Half Marathon Recap

DSC02287

This past weekend I drove to Dayton Ohio to run the U.S. Air force Half Marathon. This race was special for me because I was running in honor of my dad who served in the Air Force.

It turned out to be a warm morning and the race had a few more hills than I had anticipated but overall I had a great time. Below is a video recap of the race…Enjoy!

Have you ever run this race? Did you like it? Will you run it again?

Let me know in the comments below. You can also subscribe to my YouTube page and can be notified of future race videos that I post.

Tiger Town Tales YouTube

Let the fall race season begin!

 

DXA2 Pic

As you can see it’s been a long time since I’ve posted a blog entry and that’s mostly due to the fact that I took a break from blogging and racing over the summer. I’ve still been training so that is good but I really miss the competitive feeling I get when I start a half marathon. In the past I’ve run a lot of smaller races but with so many half marathons planned for this year I’ve cut out anything below a half. I think it was a wise decision for my body and my wallet, but I still would like to have a few more races under my belt this year.

My fall race season will officially begin this week when my son and I head out to Anaheim for the Disneyland Half Marathon. We’ll be leaving on Thursday and spending a couple of days in the parks before the race on Sunday. I’m sure I’ll be posting some pics on Instagram so if you’re not already following me feel free to head on over to my Instagram account and add me. I’ll be sure to post a race recap when I return so check back every once in a while. In the meantime, what fall race are you looking forward to the most?

Happy training and good luck with your fall races!

My 2014 2nd Half Training Plan is Complete!

20140512-163957.jpg

Well it’s been a while since I’ve written a running blog entry so I thought I’d post on the second half of my 2014 training plan and what I still have to look forward to this year.

Jeff has done a nice job of incorporating all of my Half Marathons into the training schedule he’s developed for me but I’m still getting used to his methodology. He has me running a lot slower than I normally would and he also has me doing long runs every other week instead of every week like I’d normally run.

The mid-week runs are interesting and I’m already seeing improvements using his techniques. The good news is that he has me doing a lot of speed work and hill repeats which have really gone a long way in helping my endurance. The bad news is that I still can’t run long distances without walk breaks because my knee starts to hurt. I have a feeling that this is something I’m always going to be dealing with so I’m coming to grips with the fact that my sub 2 hr Half Marathon is probably never going to happen. I’ve decided that instead of dwelling on that, I’m going to be thankful that I can still run and just try and complete my races without getting hurt.

Beginning this weekend I’m going to start dialing up the miles past the 13.1 point with my longest run (14 miles) since I ran the Marathon in January. I’ll be slowly building up to 17 miles where I’ll plateau for a bit before starting the official back to back runs for my Dopey training plan. The Dopey training runs officially begin October 9th and, good lord, this training plan is daunting! I knew there would be a lot of running but for some reason seeing it on paper just makes it a reality.

I still have a few more races to run this year before my Dopey training officially begins and then a couple more races during the Dopey phase itself.

Up next is the Dexter to Ann Arbor Half Marathon which will be my first point to point race.  I’m really excited to try this one and see how a P to P race works. The elevation change looks to be a little difficult but I’m not too worried because, for some reason, I tend to run better on these types of courses.

I’ve missed a few race recaps so I’m also going to write a post shortly with some photos of the other races I’ve completed this year. As always, thanks for reading and feel free to leave some comments. I always love hearing from my readers.

Marvel Unlimited: The kid in me is really happy now!

 

Marvel Unlimited

[Photo Source]

Please note that I have not been compensated in any way by Marvel or it’s affiliated companies. All opinions in this post are mine only and do not, in any way, represent Marvel Comics, it’s parent, or subsidiary companies.

Most anyone can tell that I’m still a big kid at heart. I’d much rather be at Walt Disney World than Las Vegas. Want to take me out golfing? No thanks, I’d rather spend my time outdoors running or inside playing video games. The books I like to read are usually Sci Fi or Fantasy and in the past I was even known to pick up a comic or two.

I promised at the beginning of the year that I’d write about some things other than running so today I want to talk about my new addiction, Marvel Unlimited. I started reading comic books back in the early 90’s but I’ve never really gotten too deep into it. The problem for me was that every time I’d start reading again I’d find a bunch of different comic series that I liked and would want to read. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but comic books aren’t cheap these days and trying to collect an entire story line was very expensive.  I’m also very ADD when it comes to reading comics. I like to skip around and read many different series which makes it even more expensive. I quit collecting every time because, after a while I couldn’t justify the cost of the comics or the space they take up in my basement.

I’m happy to say that I’ve found my love of comics once again and this time the way I consume them is perfect for me!

A few weeks ago I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts when the host mentioned an iPad app and comic service called Marvel Unlimited. The more he talked about the service the more intrigued I became. My curiosity lead me to give the service a one month trial and now I’m hooked.

What is Marvel Unlimited?

It’s a subscription service where you pay a monthly or yearly fee to get access to over 13,000 Marvel comic books on your computer, tablet, or smart phone.

20140418-202218.jpg

There are three different subscription options for the service. You can go month by month for $9.99 per month, pay a yearly fee of $69 or get the premium subscription for $99 which gives you a limited edition 6″ Gold-colored Ultron figure, an exclusive variant edition Age of Ultron #10 comic, and a custom collectible comic box.

 

20140418-202229.jpg

As you can imagine, comic book store owners were not happy with this service as they were afraid that it would eat into their brick and mortar business. To help ease these fears, Marvel has promised not to add comics newer than six months to the service. This might be a drawback for some people but since I have so much catching up to do, it doesn’t really bother me at all. I have more than enough to keep me busy.

20140418-202242.jpg

Why do I like this service so much?

1. It allows me to catch up on older Marvel story lines that I wouldn’t otherwise get to read. I’ve been reading the original X-men story line starting with the first comic in issued back in September 1963.

2. All of the comics are in digital form so they don’t take up space in my basement.

3. I can let my ADD go wild because it costs the same amount no matter how many different series I’m reading at one time.

4. Some of the newer comics are incredibly detailed and look great on my iPad. Some of them also have background music and sound effects that can be downloaded and sync up top the current page you’re reading.

I’ve had so much fun reading this past month that I gave in and bought the full year subscription. Based on the fact that I could easily spend $30 on one single trip to the comic book store I know I’ll get my money’s worth with this subscription.

Do you read comics? let me know which ones you like in the comic section below.